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Snow or no snow, Valentine’s Day leads to spring fever and Royal Isabela is the perfect antidote as well as one of the most romantic getaways imaginable.

Trip Advisor named Royal Isabela among the “Top 25 Small Hotels in the Caribbean” for the third consecutive year. It was the only Puerto Rican property recognized in that category for 2016. No passports are required on the frequently scheduled flights and packing is as simple as the itinerary – golf, lounge, tennis, enjoy the ocean views and wonderful cuisine.

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We fell in love with Royal Isabela the moment we began the first round prior to official opening in 2010. The love affair blossoms with every visit. Dramatic cliffs reached out over the ocean at Isabela calling for brothers Stanley and Charles Passarel, along with architect David Pfaff to place a tee box or a flagstick here and there, weaving a magical green carpet of linked fairways with sloping surprises at every turn through the tropical landscape. After surveying and playing the great links courses of Scotland, Ireland and Pebble Beach, they created a global golf stage in their words, “Where golf is meant to be played.”

Casitas are one bedroom wonders with mahogany floors, a private plunge pool and gazebos or decking situated in the forest with open views of the ocean. The huge walk-in shower is extraordinary with his and her nozzles at each end and a ceiling rain shower meeting in the middle. A windowed door spanning across the shower to the veranda displays the ocean view again. Wow! We loved our little home, with its canopy bed looking out over, you guessed it, the ocean – truly dreamy.

For a treasured experience, follow the white limestone steps into the submerged mango forest and vines. The path turns into a wooden stair that hugs the rugged rock formations, each level revealing a new wonder of nature leading to the secluded beach.  It is perfect for strolling with your mate, but beware of the strong current in this raging sea. Swimming is reserved far down at the point. No matter, the vista takes your breath away as rocks spew fountains of ocean against the jagged mountain wall where a native face is profiled and far above it, waves the flag on the 17th green, a reminder of how small we are compared to nature’s grandeur. That number 17 par 3 tee box is set on one cliff and the tiny two tiered green on another cliff separated by a deep chasm, just part of the dramatic layout that will have you playing round after round at Royal Isabela.

Golf membership applications are currently being accepted. Based on availability, non-members may book the luxury Casitas. While on property, guests have access to the golf course and clubhouse, the signature restaurant, and other amenities. It is the perfect place to chill when spring fever hits. Additional information about Royal Isabela is available at www.royalisabela.com and by calling (787) 609-5888

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